Why I MUST Take My Books With Me When I Move to NY

FEMALE LITERATURE (5)

So, yes… I am moving across the country in a few weeks. As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting as regularly this summer, and the main reason is this move. Moving is stressful, even more so when you won’t have a place to live until just before you have to move. AND on top of that, I have all these books to deal with.

One of the first things a person is bound to ask me when I tell them I’m moving to New York is, “But what will you do with your books?” and it always catches me off guard. Because it’s not like I can just dispose of my library and live without any books in my apartment. Not to mention the hundreds of dollars spent over the years while that collection grew. It takes dedication to tend my bookshelves.

Maybe it’s just a book-people problem, but my books can also have intense sentimental value, depending on how much I enjoyed reading it. That’s one of the reasons why I refer to my books as a collection. So no, I can’t just leave half of them behind. It’s going to be a pain in the ass to pack them all up and haul them up and down staircases, I’m not arguing against that. But I don’t think a place could feel like home if the bookshelves were bare. Books give a place character! I often think of the movie Kissing Jessica Stein when I worry about having enough space for my books. To me, the film’s most memorable shots and sequences were simple pan-shots and establishing shots that showed Jessica’s book-filled apartment. She has enough books in her Manhattan studio apartment that she’s run out of shelf space. Yet, the place feels cozy.

Anyway, I know I’m rambling so I’m going to cut it short. I love my books. They’re pretty: nice to look at and nice to hold. They can serve as decoration for an otherwise-bland space. I will be gathering some to donate before I leave, but for the most part, they’re coming with me. And to leave you with, two famous John Waters bookish quotes :

“Collect books, even if you don’t plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library.”

“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em. Don’t sleep with people who don’t read!”

Words to live by.

11 thoughts on “Why I MUST Take My Books With Me When I Move to NY

  1. Very wise words. And aaaahh! You’re moving to NYC! I plan to do the same after sometime, although it would be harder for me since I’m from a different country. But yaaay you! Bringing your books with you is a smart move! I so can relate with you on the sentimental aspect of collecting books.

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    1. Yes! Especially because I don’t know how long we will be staying, I thought it would be wise to take them rather than risk being separated from them for a long time. (here I am talking about them like children)

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  2. Aahh, this experience sounds so painfully familiar! In the past few years I’ve moved a few times across countries (and continents), and every time I had to figure out how to transport tons of books! It’s not easy, but what can a bookmaniac do? Good luck with your move!

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  3. I moved across the country several months ago. I tried to take most of my books but didn’t manage to pack them all up and ship them before I did so. There are a bunch hanging out in my parents’ house across the country now!

    Interestingly, this was the only time I’ve ever really purged my shelves. I owned over a thousand books, and I realized that shipping them was getting expensive, the apartment I was moving to was tiny, I continue to gain books at an alarming rate…and there were books there I didn’t even like. I donated a bunch to my library, and it was rather freeing. I still have tons and tons of books, but at least I like most of them!

    Still ticked off that USPS lost an entire box of books. For some reason they thought it was a great idea to deliver an empty box with the bottom fallen out, obviously from having been placed in water. I’ve been wasting packing tape lining the bottom of any boxes of books I ship ever since. I’ve also put address labels inside my books. If more “accidentally” fall out of the box, maybe they’ll come back to me. 😦

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    1. Oh no! That sounds terrible, what an awful way to lose books. I’m inherently distrustful of shipping services – I didn’t trust them enough to ship boxes of books home from BEA in May. I think we will end up doing a UHaul or something similar to avoid any of that mess. 🙂

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  4. Oh my goodness, you’re moving to New York? I’m green with envy – honestly, it’s my favourite place in the world, and I hope your move is as smooth, safe, and stress-free as possible. Sending so many good vibes your way on that. ❤

    I feel you on the sentimentality of books; I've found that there are some books I can't bear to part with, even if I'm not such a huge fan of the book itself anymore. There are just so many memories attached to them that it would feel a bit sacrilegious to ever give them away, you know?

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    1. Yes! Like my copy of Bleak House. Not one of my favorites, but finishing it was such an accomplishment, I can’t just give it away. Plus it’s all marked up and highlighted, so it tells a second story too!

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  5. I’m moving within NY in a few weeks and I’m feeling the opposite – moving has made me really winnow down my collection! I don’t reread books, but I do share your love of full bookshelves to make a place feel homey. I feel like I can only justify keeping so many books just for looks though, so I’m narrowing my collection down to only books I’d consider mentioning if someone asked me my favorite book. It’s still quite a long list – I’ve never been able to answer that question with just one book, certainly! – but I’m down to a single, small shelf full now. Good luck with your move!

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